The Internal Revenue Service has a new strategy to move toward going paperless. A new digitization and modernization pilot project are part of that process. Harrison Smith and Justin Abold-Labreche, Co-Directors of the Enterprise Digitalization and Case Management Office at the IRS, explained the strategy on “Government Matters.”
The Enterprise Digitalization and Case Management Office is working on digitalization both internally and externally, Smith explained. Some of the processes involve direct engagement with the taxpayer, such as allowing forms to be submitted digitally, and some are more focused on access to digital data within the IRS. The goal is to reduce the amount of paper used while still supporting the needs of taxpayers to file in hard copy in some instances.
Abold-Labreche described the “test and learn” approach the office is taking that involves the end customers every step of the way. Front-line employees, and sometimes external stakeholders, provide feedback about what works and doesn’t work for them. The team continues to course correct throughout the development stage.
The digitalization strategy is serving to accelerate an already strong, existing IT modernization plan at the IRS, explained Abold-Labreche. Smith said his office collaborates with IT employees, adding, “it’s worth noting that it’s not just the technology aspect of things. Justin already mentioned about business process efforts – we really need to work at, let’s not look at taking a new technology tool approach to a process that could be optimized as well.”
“We’re taking advantage of the new technology to make certain that this process, as it comes over into the new platform, really is going to have that high-quality, first-class customer experience each step of the way,” said Abold-Labreche.